Andrew Hay

the man, the myth, the blog

Suggested Blog Reading – Thursday June 28th, 2007

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ReadApparently I have my own “style”. Thanks for the mention Marcin ;)

Also, there looks to be a cage match in the works between Thomas “The Animal” Ptacek of Matasano Security and Joanna “The Lovely Lady of Security” Rutkowska over how hypervisor-based rootkits are not invisible and the detector always has the fundamental advantage. The problem is that Joanna claims that hypervisor rootkits are “100% undetectable”. I wish I could get ring side seats but I don’t have the funds for Blackhat this time around.

Here’s the list:

Schools Lack Cybersecurity Training As Students Grow Cybersavvy – I’m sure this comes as no surprise to anyone. The question is…how do we fix it and not look like a bunch of lame old folks trying to bestow wisdom?

The School Safety Index indicates that while 95% of districts surveyed are blocking Web sites, only 38% have a closed network that lets them control the content students can access.

HIPAA Growing Teeth? – This is good to see.

“An audit of Atlanta’s Piedmont Hospital that was initiated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in March is raising concerns in the health care industry about the prospect of more enforcement actions related to the data security requirements of the federal HIPAA legislation.”

Microsoft Product Keys & XML Fun – Good check to see if any unauthorized Microsoft software was added to a system :)

It’s an XML file called Product_keys.XML, the root XML tag is
and it contains a list of Product Keys for
Microsoft products.

When you have an Microsoft MSDN subscription, you have access to a
website with product keys for your subscription. There is a button on
the site to export these keys as an XML file, and the file I
discovered has exeactly the same format.

Some questions to ask yourself when assessing reported security breaches in Windows Vista – Probably not all of the questions you need to be asking but definitely some good ones.

Most anyone who has been in the security industry for a while is familiar with the term ‘security theater’. It’s a term used for security that is about show, rather than substance.

Since I became the Product Manager for Windows Vista security I have noted that the same concept seems to increasingly apply to the world of vulnerability disclosure – let’s call this ‘vulnerability theater’.

Take5 (Episode #3) – Five Questions for Jeremiah Grossman, Founder/CTO of Whitehat Security – Good interview with Jeremiah Grossman.

Jeremiah Grossman is the founder and CTO of WhiteHat Security,
considered a world-renowned expert in Web security, co-founder of the
Web Application Security Consortium, and recently named to
InfoWorld’s Top 25 CTOs for 2007. Mr. Grossman is a frequent speaker
at industry events including the BlackHat Briefings, ISACA, CSI,
OWASP, Vanguard, ISSA, OWASP, Defcon, etc. He has authored of dozens
of articles and white papers, credited with the discovery of many
cutting-edge attack and defensive techniques, and co-author of XSS
Attacks. Mr. Grossman is frequently quoted in major media publications such as InfoWorld, USA Today, PCWorld, Dark Reading, SC Magazine, SecurityFocus, C-Net, SC Magazine, CSO, and InformationWeek. Prior to WhiteHat he was an information security officer at Yahoo!

If you tell a fact in forest and you haven’t written a security book, is your fact wrong? – Looks like Michael Farnum got slammed by an angry Computerworld blog follower. Good for you Michael for not backing down. You were right by the way ;)

OK, I was going to leave this one alone, but it is just bothering me so much. A couple of weeks back, I wrote a blog post about a comment I had left on a post by Douglas Schweitzer’s at his Computerworld blog. Douglas said in his post that a bot was “essentially just another term for an infected computer.” I took issue with this and wrote a comment as such, then I posted the comment on my blog. I also noted that I wasn’t slamming Douglas in any way. I just felt the error needed to be corrected. Douglas argued on his blog that it was semantics, and that is probably true to a degree, but oh well. I let that go (actually I tried to post another comment on Douglas’ blog, but I think I put too many links in to prove my point because it never popped up – probably looked like spam).

3Com will be 2 com’s – This just in from the “a blind man could have seen it coming” department…

I guess they finally had enough at 3Com. Enough of the dual, schizophrenic personality. Or maybe it’s better described as the petulant teenager who just wouldn’t stop railing against being a part of the family. Tipping Point will get it’s way and be spun out on an IPO by years end according to an announcement from Edgar Masri, 3Com’s president and CEO.

It never was a fit. TippingPoint always saw themselves as the real acquirer in the deal, or maybe as Ty Pennington leading the Extreme Makeover – Home Edition of 3Com. The next generation to take over the company. And lets face it, the integration of 3Com and TippingPoint never did happen, starting with TippingPoint being identified as a “3Com company”.

  • http://snowcrash.ca MikeP

    My stepdaughter is 12. I've long ago given up on worrying whether or not I'll look like a fogey trying to impart wisdom – to kids, old people (anybody over 20) doing anything even remotely resembling telling them what to do or how to do it is a fogey trying to impart wisdom. It doesn't matter the format it takes. So if we have an important message to get through her nigh-impenetrable pre-teen skull, we try several ways spread out over… well, ever. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

    If you don't want kids going to certain websites, you have two choices: hang over their shoulders 100% of the time (if it's 95% they *will* sneak it in the other 5) or have some sort of blocking technology. I went so far as to suggest squid + a whitelist here, backed by pf, but that got shot down. So we compromised for watching her a reasonable amount – she needs some privacy, after all, or at least the illusion of such – and checking her browsing history.